June 03, 2007
To Be The Candidate

Scooter’s big day is coming up on Tuesday. For an idea of what might happen, who you gonna call? Turns out you don’t even have to call him.

You’ve no doubt heard that Fred Thompson is heavily into the Free Scooter trip. He’s helping to raise money, he’s traveling, he’s speaking. Or rather bullshitting. Or lying. He alone knows, but there’s no question that he’s propagating blatant untruths.

For which John Dean rips him a new one. And when Dean rips you a new one, you stay ripped. You don’t get to be the President’s lawyer at 32 if you can’t make a case, and make it stick.

Frankly, I am not only stunned that Fred Thompson has taken up the “Free Scooter” campaign, but by the crude and thoughtless tactics he has employed. He has either lied or could not be troubled to inform himself of the facts before he attacked Special Counsel Fitzgerald.

Thompson, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Tennessee, gave an audience his assessment of the prosecution against Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice in a speech on May 12, 2007. He claims that the investigation was a sham from the outset: that there should have been no Special Counsel selected, and there never was any violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Indeed, he claimed “that there was no violation of the law, by anyone, and everybody — the CIA, the Justice Department and the Special Counsel knew it. Ms. Plame was not a ’covered person’ under the statute and it was obvious from the outset.”

This is a remarkable charge — suggesting that the CIA referred the matter to the Justice Department knowing that Plame was not covered by the law; that the Justice Department commenced the investigation even though it had the same knowledge; and that the Special Counsel continued the investigation even though he, too, knew she was not covered. Yet why would Attorney General John Ashcroft’s Justice Department have undertaken a baseless investigation? Why would a busy and highly-respected U.S. Attorney from Chicago take the assignment of Special Counsel if the law did not apply? And why would that same highly-respected U.S. Attorney make representations to a federal judge that the law did cover Valerie Plame, if it did not? It seems Fred Thompson has made a remarkably irresponsible charge.

Dean has that quiet, factual way of delivering his attack that allows for a bit of humor to sneak in. He has this to say about the judge.

It is well known that Judge Walton, who arrived on the bench after a successful career in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, gives out tough sentences. He is the kind of “law and order” judge that conservatives praise, except when one of their own is being sentenced. As I was told by one person who knows him well, Judge Walton is tough as they come, and he has the cojones to send Scooter to get his orange jumpsuit sooner rather than later.

We can hope. Dean combines the legal precedents with Walton’s predilictions to predict about 30 months, and only a few days for Scooter to get his affairs in order.

Then comes the interesting part. Those who, like Thompson, are anxious to take up the mantle of the Cheney administration are working to keep Scooter out of jail, while others, like Giuliani, hire the Swift Boat folks. Matt Taibbi has apparently followed Rudy around for a while, and

…there’s no question that Giuliani has made the continuation of Swift-Boating politics a linchpin of his candidacy. His political hires speak deeply to that tendency. Chris Henick, formerly Karl Rove’s most trusted deputy, is now a key aide at Giuliani Partners, the security firm set up by the mayor to cash in on his 9/11 image. One of his top donors, Richard Collins, is a longtime Bush supporter who was instrumental in setting up “Stop Her Now,” a 527 group modeled on Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that will be used to attack Hillary Clinton. And the money for the smear campaign comes from the same Texas sources behind the Swift Boaters, including oilman T. Boone Pickens and Houston home builder Bob Perry.

To further emulate the Bush-Rove model, Giuliani has recruited some thirty Bush “Pioneers,” the key fund-raisers who served as the president’s $100,000 bagmen. In addition, he hired the woman who spearheaded the Pioneer program to be his chief fund-raiser. “Rudy definitely got some of Bush’s heavier hitters, including all the Swift Boater types,” says Alex Cohen, a senior researcher at Public Citizen, who tracks the president’s top donors.

To be the candidate of the same folks who put Cheney and Bush in office, you apparently have to do quite a lot of lying, cheating, and stealing. And aren’t those things widely considered to be gateway drugs?

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Posted by Chuck Dupree at June 03, 2007 07:41 PM
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